A simple applesauce gussied up with vanilla beans. This apple sauce can be canned using a water bath canner, but it never lasts that long in my house! It does make a really great gift and my in-laws request as soon as fall hits. It can easily be doubled, just make sure to use a very large, wide pan. —Hilarybee
about four pints
Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 to 1-1/2 cups
scant 1/4 cups
Bottled Lemon Juice
Vanilla Bean, sliced lengthwise and seeded
If you are planning to can the applesauce, prepare you water bath. Sterilize all jars, lids, rings and any other accoutrements you plan on using.
Combine the apples, 1 cup of apple cider and lemon juice in a large, wide stock pot. Turn the heat to medium. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pot and swish them around to distribute. Drop the Vanilla bean in the pot, too. Cook on medium for about twenty minutes. The mixture should start to gently boil and the apples will break apart.
Turn up the heat to medium-high and gently boil for another 10 minutes. If too much liquid has evaporated and the apples aren't soft, add another 1/2 cup of apple cider.
If you want chunkier applesauce, stop at this point. For a very smooth sauce, take out the vanilla bean pods (save for later!). Use a stick blender to break up any chunks. This will give the sauce a smooth, silky texture.
Ladle the hot sauce into jars or freezer containers. Add in the reserved vanilla bean half to the container. If using a water bath, process for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the jars to sit in the hot water for another five. Let sit over night before removing the rings to check the seals. I lift the jar at the seal, and if it is tight, it is good to go. Any wiggling or residual stickiness could indicate a bad seal. They'll keep for about four months after processing. Unprocessed sauce will keep for about two weeks in the fridge or three months in the freezer.
Dedicated locavore. I spend my weekends on the back roads (often lost!) looking for the best ingredients Ohio has to offer. I am often accompanied by my husband, Mr. Radar and our dog, Buddy. Born in West Virginia, raised in Michigan, I moved to Ohio for college and have lived there on and off since. I love to meet farmers and local producers. Cooking is an extension of this love.
You can follow my move from government analyst to cottage industrialist and view the food I cook for my personal mad scientist on thistleconfections.com